Open Carry Bill Goes to House, Panel Mulls Decision on Campuses

Members of the Texas House are debating proposals to allow concealed carry of handguns on college campuses and open carry everywhere else.

The House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety mulled proposals on both issues Tuesday.

Those discussions came as the full Senate approved loosening restrictions to allow licensed open carry of guns statewide. The sweeping "open carry" bill cleared the upper chamber on votes Monday and Tuesday with relatively little debate.

The Senate was set to take up a "campus carry" bill later this week. It would allow license holders to bring concealed handguns into university buildings and classrooms.

With the Senate passing one measure and poised to approve the other, both will go to the House. But a full vote can't occur there until they clear committee.

Texas Senate Sends Open Carry of Handguns Bill to House

The Texas Senate has given its final approval to licensed open carry of handguns in the state, sending the measure to the House.

Open carry has been resisted by law enforcement groups, but sailed through the Senate on a 20-10 vote. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to sign an open carry bill if one reaches his desk.

Texas already allows concealed carry of handguns but is one of just six states that ban open carry.

The bill allows open carry of handguns in shoulder or belt holsters.  Licensing would the same as concealed handguns, including background checks, classroom and firing range instruction.

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill allowing concealed handguns in college classrooms and buildings.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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